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LIVE REVIEWS

Never Alone: Reflections on the 2018 Winter Jazzfest

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Ornette Coleman once said that sound has no parents. But that doesn't mean we can't be its children. On that point, jazz has always been something of a parental force, connecting progenies of representation across geographic and cultural borders. Its relationship to struggle has, however, at times been overshadowed by debate. On the one hand, jazz is a space in which divisions melt away in the interest of collective expression. On the other, such idealism risks ignoring the blood of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kjetil Mulelid Trio: Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House

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Norwegian pianist/composer Kjetil Mulelid leads his young trio in a program with a maturity that contradicts their age. Their music is lyrical and exploratory, with a high degree of group interaction, and even a bit of free playing. Opener “Entrance" finds them moving together through the rhythmic waves. “Fly, Fly" begins with Mulelid in a slightly gospel mood, followed by a brief lyrical unaccompanied piano solo which gives way to a rubato feel, so loose that it almost feels free--the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Tierney Sutton Band at the Newman Center

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Tierney Sutton Band Newman Center Denver, Colorado January 11, 2018 The Tierney Sutton Band has been known for some time as a unit that takes jazz standards and runs them through its magical musical box and something very, very different emerges. Usually, the results are somewhat recognizable, other times the original theme is revamped, subjected to genetic engineering and cross bred with strange genomes until it bears only the vaguest of familial resemblances; third ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonathan Saraga: Journey to a New World

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It's been five years since Jonathan Saraga's debut release, First Vision, but the trumpeter's sophomore album was worth waiting for. Saraga's precise and passionate technique, combined with thoughtful, well- constructed compositions (and a couple nicely-arranged cover tunes) make for a stimulating listen that rewards on a number of levels. The record's title captures the feel of the music well, as each track pursues its own distinctive path, often developing in unexpected ways that are melodically rich and rhythmically sophisticated.

MIXCLOUD

The Gift of Music (Part 1)

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Holidays are the season of gift-giving and music makes the perfect gift. So here's the first of a two part series featuring some of my favorite tunes as my holiday gift to end the year on a positive note. Happy Listening! Playlist Donald Fagen “The Nightfly" from The Nightfly (Warner Bros.) 0:00 Sonny Rollins “Alfie's Theme Differently" from Alfie (OST) (Impulse!) 10:53 George Benson “Dinorah Dinorah" from Give Me The Night (Warner ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Angles 9: Disappeared Behind the Sun

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On the sixth release from reedman Martin Küchen's mid-sized Angles ensemble, all the winning traits so evident on previous outings are still present and correct: heart wrenching melodies, huge foot-tapping riffs, sweeping chorales and adventurous raw soloing, not least by the leader himself. Many of the same top notch players remain on board, notably trombonist Mats Äleklint, vibraphonist Mattias Ståhl, bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Andreas Werliin, affirming a veritable spiders web of connections with other well-regarded bands on the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Riccardo Muti: 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert

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It is a yearly ritual. Rather than watch the ball drop on Times Square, I tune into my local Public Television station to watch the Vienna Philharmonic's annual New Year's Day concert. This yearly event features a different conductor every year, leading the orchestra through a program of waltz music, not the least of which comes from the famous Strauss family (Johann, et al. not Richard). Hell, there is even some polka and marching band music. Now, I know what ...

Binge Worthy

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If you are, like me, a card-carrying member of Generation X, we probably have more than a few things in common. We went through our slacker phase and our grunge phase, likely both at the same time. We probably still crush on Winona Ryder in Stranger Things as much as we did back in her Heathers days. And we likely were raised sitting in front of the TV. It's okay to admit it. We're past the days when ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Vorcza at Nectar's

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Vorcza Nectar's Burlington, VT January 13, 2018 Vorcza brought its earthy elegance to Nectar's early this new year in what hopefully constitutes a harbinger of more frequent appearances to come in 2018. The stage once inhabited so regularly by Phish can seem uncomfortably cramped for some bands, but from a particular vantage point this frosty night inside the Burlington club, it appeared expressly designed for the trio. In a metaphor for the ease ...